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The 10 craziest, most entertaining tennis meltdowns of Nick Kyrgios' career

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The 10 craziest, most entertaining tennis meltdowns of Nick Kyrgios' career

Nick Kyrgios is known for his abilities on a tennis court, and no we are not talking about his tennis abilities. 

Kyrgios has the best tennis meltdowns that we have ever seen. Better than John McEnroe, Mikhail Youzhny, Serena Williams, Marcos Baghdatis, whomever you think about when discussing tennis blowups. 

To make Kyrgios more special he has memorable outbursts on a fairly regular basis. So many that narrowing down his meltdowns to a top 10 list is a fairly difficult task. 

This year he is making his return to Washington D.C.'s Citi Open and with the short fuse that Kyrgios brings, every match he plays in becomes a must-watch. 

From time to time, the 24-year-old has destroyed a racket or two... or three in his short career. He's argued with officials. Argued with fans. Argued with pretty much anyone that could disturb him on a tennis court. His racket tosses are unconventional and he always finds a new way to make headlines.

Needless to say, he is controversial for a sport that has a prim and proper history. His attitude is further amplified when he gives up in the middle of games and sets. He randomly turns into a trick shot artist. He doesn't have a coach and openly admits he does not take his profession seriously. It's a shame, really, because he is truly one of the best athletes on the ATP Tour and when he hones in for a big match he plays like a top-10 player. 

In May, before the French Open, he made another stir off the court by calling out two of the best in the sport. He said Novak Djokovic's celebrations are "cringeworthy" and Rafael Nadal has "super salty" double standards. Then he hit a ball right at Nadal in an entertaining Second Round match at Wimbledon.

Here's a non-inclusive list of Kyrgios' top 10 meltdowns/ blowups. And here's to hoping that we'll get another one worthy to go on this list at the 2019 Citi Open.

#10 - Racket toss out of the stadium - 2019 Queens Club Championships

Frustrated, but not enough to destroy a racket, Kyrgios decides to just toss this one out of the court area. He was upset that the umpires "rigged" the match against him and decided to go through the motions in the final points. For multiple transgressions in the tournament, he was fined $17,500.

#9 - Meltdown Down Under - 2017 Australian Open

Playing Andres Seppi this is one of the iconic meltdowns of Kyrgios' career. This match is when many first heard of the young Aussie. A slew of expletives led to code violations, mostly at himself. And in true self-destruction fashion, delivered a half-hearted racket smash

#8 - Umpire coaches up Kyrgios - 2018 U.S. Open

Only this would happen to Kyrgios. In the middle of a Second Round match at the U.S. Open, chair umpire Mohamed Layhani stepped down to give Kyrgios what appears to be a pep talk after dropping the first set and going down in the second to Pierre-Hugues Herbert. "I want to help you" and "you're great for tennis" were overheard on the video. The umpire would later be suspended for his actions, but it worked and Kyrgios won the final three sets. 

#7 - Kyrgios and John McEnroe lose their minds - 2018 Laver Cup

This will give anybody a good laugh. It's almost unfair that it is only No. 7 on this list, but John McEnroe did most of the work in this blowup. Here, McEnroe was the coach of Kyrgios in the team tournament between Team Europe and Team World. 

#6 - Booed off the court - 2016 Shanghai Masters

This match had a little bit of everything, or nothing depending on how you looked at it. Eventually, he was booed off the court because of his lack of effort and he was honest about it in the postgame press conference. Kyrgios was suspended for eight weeks following this performance and fined $32,900.

#5 - Kyrgios insults Stan Wawrinka's girlfriend - 2015 Rogers Cup (NSFW)

Nowhere should this be considered the 'top.' But in 2015 Kyrgios got heated in a match against Stan Wawrinka and lashed out with a leud comment about Wawrinka's girlfriend. Kyrgios received a maximum $10,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct and a 28-day ban from ATP competition. The ATP also levied a $25,000 fine on Kyrgios if he had another inccident over the next six months, which he did not.

#4 - "Why are you watching me on a Sunday night" - 2019 Miami Open

Chirpping at a character like Kyrgios is never a good idea. An unfortunate fan at the Miami Open found out the hard way and Kyrgios clapped back. After shouting at the tennis player (not seen in the video), Kyrgios went right after him with a "You got nothing else to do on a Sunday night?" Kyrgios won the argument as the fan was escorted out of the match. 

#3 - "There is music playing... while we are playing" - 2016 Australian Open

Kyrgios did not like music distracting him during a match against Tomas Berdych. While hilarious, there are no expletives or equipment damage in this freak-out. They would play through the music and Kyrgios would go on to lose. 

#2 - When throwing a racket isn't enough - 2019 Italian Open

Sometimes throwing a tennis racket to voice your displeasure is not enough. So, Kyrgios kicked his water bottle and threw one of his on-court chairs out into the middle of the court. That is to go along with his profanity-laden rant that went along with it. Kyrgios was defaulted, lost his accumulated prize money ($37,881 US), forfeited 45 ATP points and was fined $25,525.

#1 - Why smash a racket when you can smash three? - 2016 Western and Southern Open

The best tennis outbursts are the smashing of rackets. Playing in Cincinnati after dropping a set to Borna Ćorić, Kyrgios let loose on three rackets. The one he was playing with and two backups in his bag. 

BONUS:

If these displays of Nick Kyrgios are not enough for you, here's the lighter side of him during last year's Wimbledon. He recognized a reporter from a party he attended the night prior:

And... a pretty flawless interview with a kid.

MORE CITI OPEN NEWS:

Teenager Coco Gauff to return to the Citi Open in 2020

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Teenager Coco Gauff to return to the Citi Open in 2020

Teenage tennis sensation Coco Gauff will return to Washington D.C.'s Citi Open in 2020. 

Gauff, who will be 16 at the time of her second appearance in D.C., broke onto the WTA Tour with a historic run at last year's Wimbledon Championships. She upset seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams en route to a Round of 16 finish in her major main draw debut. 

Last year, Gauff made the trip to the nation's capital a month after her phenomenal run. However, due to her low ranking and her primary source of ranking points coming from Wimbledon, she had to play in the qualifying tournament just to make the main draw of the Citi Open. She would end up losing in the First Round of the singles draw but win her first WTA title with fellow American teenager Caty McNally in doubles

That will not be the case for the Florida native this upcoming year. Gauff won her first WTA singles crown at the Linz Open in Austria and became the youngest player ranked in the top 100 at 15 years of age. She wrapped up her 2019 campaign ranked No. 68 in the world. 

Coco Mania in D.C. helped contribute to one of the best Citi Opens ever. The tournament set several new attendance records in 2019 and sold out seven of the 11 sessions. An empty seat could not be found in any of Gauff's qualifying or main draw matches.

“Seeing the energy and excitement that Coco brought to our Citi Open fans and community last summer was one of the highlights of the tournament, so we are thrilled to welcome her back in 2020,” the manager of the Citi Open Mark Ein said in a release.

Gauff will be defending her doubles title, in addition to playing singles, and hopes to do so with McNally again. 

The 2020 Citi Open will be Aug. 1-9, where they will also be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the women's draw at the event. 

MORE CITI OPEN:

11.27.19 Rick Horrow sits down with Phil de Picciotto, Founder and President of Octagon

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USA TODAY Sports

11.27.19 Rick Horrow sits down with Phil de Picciotto, Founder and President of Octagon

Edited by Tanner Simkins

In the latest edition of Rick Horrow's Sports Business Podcast, Rick sits down with  Founder and President of Octagon Phil de Picciotto and takes you through the biggest sports business stories of the week.

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE



1. Minor League Baseball has announced the continued long-term commitment to its U.S. Hispanic fans and communities with the return of the 2020 Copa de la Diversion campaign and event series. Next season, each of the 92 participating MiLB teams covering 34 U.S. states will transform its on-field brand into a culturally-relevant Hispanic persona, representing an extension of the team’s and community’s identity. MiLB’s Copa-specific website features each team’s unique identity, including the story behind its Hispanic on-field persona, and links for fans to purchase available apparel for select Copa teams. As the New York Times noted, “the local embrace of a professional baseball team is ingrained in American culture.” MiLB performs critical community outreach through programs such as building youth sports facilities and sponsoring creative initiatives in schools. As American communities continue to become more diverse, events like the Copa de la Diversion campaign only serve to cement MiLB’s role as a communal centerpiece across the nation.

2. LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan confirmed that he has signed a long-term contract extension. Whan is “completing his tenth year as the LPGA’s leader, the longest tenure of any commissioner in tour history,” according to Golf Channel. During his tenure, Whan has “rebuilt the LPGA with a healthy, diversified foundation, with 33 events” and more than $70 million in total prize money.” When Whan was named LPGA Commissioner, the organization had only 23 events on the 2011 schedule in his first year. “Ten years ago, I’m not sure many of us would have been bold enough to predict where we are our today,” he wrote in an update to members. “Events like the KPMG Women’s PGA, Race to the CME Globe, UL International Crown and Founders Cup weren’t even an idea back then. In fact, 19 of the 33 official events on the 2020 LPGA Tour Schedule weren’t on the LPGA Tour just 10 years ago! Now we have an official team event, five strong majors, multiple events played with men, exciting season-long competitions, events staged in 12 different regions of the world, and TV coverage in over 160 countries.” Well done, Mike – we are proud to call you a friend.

3. The National Lacrosse League’s Alterna Cup begins Friday. On November 29, the National Lacrosse League will usher in a brand-new season-long competition among all five Canadian clubs. Calgary, Halifax, Saskatchewan, Toronto, and Vancouver will be competing for the inaugural Alterna Cup. This Cup was created in partnership with Alterna Savings and Alterna Bank (Alterna), who will be the exclusive banking partner of the NLL in Canada this season. To capture the Cup, Canadian teams will be competing in head-to-head matchups throughout the NLL regular season. To get the action started, the Calgary Roughnecks will pay a visit to the Vancouver Warriors next Friday, November 29 at 10:00 pm ET. Save a little room for lacrosse after you gorge on turkey and football.

4. The 2020 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target is heading to Los Angeles where, for the first time, the MLS All-Stars will face the Liga MX All-Stars on July 29 at Banc of California Stadium. The match will be broadcast on ESPN and Univision networks in the U.S., TSN, and TVA Sports in Canada, as well as on ESPN throughout Mexico and Latin America. “We are so pleased to bring the 2020 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target to Los Angeles, one of the great soccer markets in North America,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in a statement. “As we celebrate our 25th season, we wanted to deliver a unique and unprecedented format for our annual All-Star Game. Our first ever game between the best of MLS and Liga MX’s top players is the perfect way to build on the growing relationship between the two top soccer leagues in the region.” The MLS All-Star Game will unfold in the same timeframe that SoFi Stadium, the new home of the Rams and the Chargers, will roll out inaugural concerts before it hosts its first official NFL games. Next summer, it seems, all eyes will be on LaLa Land.

5. NASCAR launches a new OTT platform with NBC Sports. The new live and on-demand streaming platform, TrackPass, will launch on the NBC Gold OTT service next month and will provide access to live motorsports events and archive footage and documentaries, including NASCAR practice and qualifying sessions, but not live races. According to Sports Pro, subscribers will have the option of watching exclusive live race coverage from the American Flat Track motorcycle series, select events from the ARCA Menards U.S. stock-car series, as well as the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and live International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) events. The new TrackPass service will cost $4.99 per month or $44.99 per year, while other price offerings include series-specific sub-packages for select motorsports. Creating an OTT offering just for NASCAR fans attracts more millennial and Gen Z audiences while other companies like DAZN or ESPN+ could add them to their roster in the near future.